Michael J. Murrin

Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Professor of Religion and Literature in the Divinity School; also in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of English Language and Literature, and the College




MA, PhD (Yale University)

Michael Murrin's research interests lie in two areas: the history of criticism, with a specialty in the history of allegorical interpretation, and the study of the genres of romance and epic. His teaching focuses on period courses in the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the early modern period. His publications include The Veil of AllegoryThe Allegorical Epic; and History and Warfare in Renaissance Epic.

Trade and Romance (University of Chicago Press, 2013)  a study of the two intertwined themes of the growth of Europe's middle-class culture and its interests in aristocratic romance, and the simultaneous development of trade across Asia conducted by merchants and initially made possible by the Mongol world system, won the Rene Wellek prize, the highest prize in the ACLA.  The book is a study of the imagination and attitudes that affect thinking about Asia to this day.

Professor Murrin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Currently he is at work on a short book about Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.  In 2016 Prof. Murrin was the recipient of the Norman McLean Faculty Award, which honors emeritus or very senior UChicago faculty for extraordinary contributions to teaching and to the student experience of life within the University community. 

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